Breakfast Time …. Part 4

It’s kind of funny, but actually breakfast was never my “favorite meal of the day”.  Growing up I rarely ate breakfast and it carried into my early adulthood. That was until I went to Bastyr University to study nutrition. I learned the value of eating in the mornings but I still had to work really hard on my metabolism so that I would be hungry in the morning.  I am not as good as my husband who can wake up at any time and be ready to eat breakfast, but I will say that almost everyday I wake up with a small pang of hunger.

Breakfast is still not my favorite meal of the day.  I like breakfast foods, but not really early in the morning.  I like omelets but I would prefer to eat them at 10am rather than 7am.  Most days I don’t eat breakfast food but prefer to eat soup or leftovers, especially when I am at work.  However, for the past several months, Sundays have been my day to make waffles.  I am kind of obsessed with them honestly.  I keep trying all different kinds – always gluten free – coconut flour, almond flour, rice flour, bean flours …. you name it.  It’s been fun.  Here is the recipe for my latest waffle – I hope you will enjoy them as much as me!

waffles

Healthy Oatmeal-Nut Waffles

2 c. milk (cow,almond,soy,etc.)

4 eggs

1 ½ c. almond flour

4-5 Tbs. coconut flour

1/3 c. butter melted, or oil

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 Tbs. coconut nectar

1 c. gluten-free oats

1 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Put milk, eggs, almond flour, oil or butter, baking powder and coconut nectar into a blender or food processor. Process until blended. Add 4 Tbs. coconut flour and process again. Check for thickness. The batter should be thick but not overly thick like cooked oatmeal. If it does not seem thick enough, add another tablespoon of coconut flour and process again. Add the oatmeal and nuts and stir to blend or pulse a few times in the blender to combine.

batter

Bake in preheated waffles iron until waffle stops steaming and is golden (approximately 5 minutes depending upon the waffle iron). Enjoy with jam, honey, maple syrup or fruit syrup.

The first day I made them I put almond butter on top, then blueberry puree, topped it with chopped walnuts and pecans, and drizzled on some maple syrup.  Just delicious!

This morning before tennis I had a waffle with almond and pumpkin seed butter, topped with bananas, chopped walnuts and pecans, cinnamon, and coconut nectar.  That was pretty tasty as well.  The toppings are endless….

Breakfast Time …. Part 3

unnamed

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day … did I say this already? In our last two posts, Breakfast Time and Breakfast Time … Part 2, we spoke a little bit about why breakfast is important, such as starting your metabolism and setting your blood sugar right for the day.  I was looking at some recipes and came across another good breakfast idea for those days when you are running out the door.  These breakfast bars are easy to make and easy to carry. They are also perfect to carry with you for a late morning or afternoon snack.

I like the versatility of these bars as well.  You can make them with any nuts or seeds that you prefer and also change the dried fruit to change the whole taste of the bar.  I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Breakfast Bars

2-c. whole grain flour, gluten-free flour or finely ground filberts, walnuts, or sesame seeds

1 c. finely chopped dried apples, papayas or raisins

1-c. filberts or walnuts, coarsely ground

½ c. concentrated frozen fruit juice or fruit puree (applesauce or apple butter) or coconut nectar

1-c. whole sesame seeds

½ c. sesame, walnut or soy oil

2 eggs or egg replacer (2 Tbs. ground flaxseed +  ½ c. water – blended)

2-tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a blender or food processor to grind nuts, grains or seeds to desired consistency. Mix the nuts, seeds and/or grains in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine fruit, fruit juice or puree, oil, vanilla and egg or replacer. Pour over the dry mixture and stir to make a stiff batter – you may need to add more water or juice. Spread mixture into a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares when done.

Kitchen Experiments – Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Happy Birthday to me!  Yes, it was my birthday this past week, plus father’s day, plus my nephew’s graduation from high school, plus my niece’s graduation from 8th grade.  This gave me the perfect excuse to bake the carrot cake that I had made for my sister’s birthday. I told you about it in my last post, but I don’t think I mentioned how delicious it was!

If you know me at all, you can imagine how picky I am when it comes to my birthday dessert.  I think that I have been baking my own birthday desserts for years now, and actually I would not have it any other way!  You know, it has to be gluten-free, no white sugar, nothing too sweet, and it has to be healthy enough that I can eat it for breakfast!  I think that this carrot cake fits that description. Gluten free – yep, it is made with almond flour.  No white sugar – yep, I use the coconut nectar which has a very low glycemic load ( which basically means that the sugar is not absorbed quickly into your blood stream making it a good choice for pre-diabetics or diabetics).

cake2

It is definitely not too sweet and with the addition of carrots and pecans, plus the almond flour and eggs, it is packed with protein plus it has some vegetables, which fits my description for a healthy breakfast! OK, not everyday, but on my birthday – you bet!

f5

Carrot Cake

3 c. almond flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbs. cinnamon

¾ tsp. nutmeg

5 eggs

½ c. coconut nectar

¼ c. sunflower oil

2 c. grated carrots (about 3 medium carrots)

1 c. pecan pieces

1.       Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare either 2 9” round cake pans or a 13”X9” baking pan with cooking spray.

2.       In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3.       In a separate bowl, beat eggs, coconut nectar, and oil.

4.       Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined.

5.       Add the carrots and pecan pieces to the batter and mix together.

cake4

6.       Pour batter into pan(s).

cake3

7.       Bake for 40 minutes.

8.       Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing.

carrot cake

9.       Cool to room temperature and spread with Coconut Cream Frosting.

10.   Serve and enjoy!

Coconut Cream Frosting

1 can Coconut Cream

2

2 tsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Empty contents of coconut cream into a mixing bowl.

frosting1

2. Beat on high slowly adding the maple syrup and vanilla.

f3

3.  Beat for 2-3 minutes.  It should be light and fluffy at the end.

f4

Now, the best part … Slice the cake and enjoy!

cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Experiments – Beans for Dessert?

Flourless Coconut Great Northern Bean Blondies

It seems like these days I am continually searching for new recipes and especially things made without flour.  Anita and I have been on our low grain and fruit diet now for over a month and we are sick of what we are eating.  We keep looking for different ways to cook with nuts and beans.  Someone gave Anita a recipe for Almond Blondies, which you make with almond butter, and it peaked my interest so I decided to make them.  I did not have the recipe however, so I did what everyone else does when they need a recipe, I put it in Google search.  Wow, I am always surprised by the number of recipes that pop up no matter what you are searching for.  I found the almond blondie recipe but this recipe caught my eye as well:

Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt.

I couldn’t resist the urge to click on that link and I was so glad that I did.  Beans for dessert?  You bet!

IMG_0969

I made the recipe and then got to thinking …what other bean nut combinations could I make? One of my favorite things that I have been making involves pecans and coconut.  I like those two things together so why not a pecan coconut blondie.  As many of you already know, when we started the ALCAT diet we also started a rotation diet, meaning that we try to only eat the same foods about every 4 days.  So, it was easy to decide which bean I wanted to use because on my pecan and coconut day I also eat white beans.  Now, there are many different white beans and any of them would work well.  I used Great Northern beans, but you could use navy, cannelini or a small white bean. I added an egg to the batter to make it more cake like, but it can be made without the egg or made with an egg substitute.  My new favorite substitution is 1 tablespoon chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons of water.  Stir and let sit until thickened.

Here is the recipe that I followed:

1 can (15oz.) Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Pecan Butter (I made my own in the Vitamix)
1/3 cup Coconut Nectar (you could use maple syrup or honey)
1 egg (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup Coconut Chips (you could use flakes)
 
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8″x8″ pan with cooking spray.
IMG_0967                                                                                                             (GROUND PECANS)
~In a food processor (again I used my Vitamix), add all ingredients except the coconut and process until batter is smooth. Fold in coconut (I added the coconut to the vitamix and then just pulsed it 2-3 times). Batter will be super thick.
IMG_0970
~Spread batter evenly in prepared pan with a spatula.  It may be easier to spread with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray or dipped in water.
IMG_0972
~Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.  The batter may look underdone but you don’t want them to dry out.
IMG_0973

 Adding the beans to the recipe give the bars a really creamy texture.  To me it almost has the texture of a cheesecake.  It has got me thinking … do you think you could make a cheese cake using beans?  I will keep you posted!